DISI Dipartimento di Informatica e Scienze dell'Informazione

Multiparadigm Specification Languages: a First Attempt at Foundations

E. Astesiano and M. Cerioli .

In C.A. Middelburg D.J. Andrews, J.F. Groote, editor, Semantics of Specification Languages (SoSL'93), Workshops in Computing, pages 168--185. Springer Verlag, 1994.

This paper is a first attempt at a formal foundation of specification languages allowing their basic modules to be defined in several formalisms. More precisely a rigorous notion of a compositional tool for importing/exporting specifications between two instances of one specification metalanguage on different basic algebraic frameworks is proposed.
Adopting the notion of institution as a synonym for formalism, we introduce and develop the concept of simulation of an institution by another.
Then we deal with the simulation of basic and structured specifications, introducing the concept of simulation independent metalanguage, a generalization of institution independent languages, which allows ``putting together theories from different formalisms to make specifications''.
Since simulation generalizes the notion of implementation and allows relating implementations in different formalisms, a third dimension is added to the well known horizontal and vertical compositions of specifications, typical of Clear and ASL.

The compressed postscript version of this paper is available through anonymous ftp at ftp.disi.unige.it, in /person/CerioliM/SOSL93.ps.z (72806 Kb)